MILLBROOK, N.S. - Funding for a new program which will help First Nations youth with employment was announced Thursday in Millbrook.
The Canadian government is providing $1.1 million in funding to the Helping Prepare for Employment/Education (HYPE) project, which will provide First Nations youth with employment workshops tailored to their needs.
“The Native Council of Nova Scotia’s HYPE project is designed to provide an opportunity for Indigenous Youth to gain credentials and develop work skills to increase successful transition to the labour market,” said Lorraine Augustine, chief and president of the Native Council of Nova Scotia.
The HYPE project will help 80 young people in Truro, Dartmouth, Liverpool and Sydney move into the workforce through a four-week pre-employment workshop program and a 12-week work placement program.
Being delivered throughout the province over two years, the program offers workshops to educate youth on writing resumes, obtaining required certificates, and providing youth with job searches based on their personal interests.
Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, made the funding announcement Thursday afternoon at the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre after touring the facility.
“Supporting youth, including young Indigenous people, means giving everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Hajdu.
“Our government is firmly focused on inclusive growth, which means ensuring that every Canadian has a fair shot at success.”
During the announcement, Hajdu explained her move to politics, which stemmed from her work in the public health field, dealing with youth development and working at a homeless shelter in Northern Ontario.
“We can’t actually talk about prosperity or growth if we don’t consider all of the people that we leave behind,” said Hajdu.
“Our economy is beginning to thrive again, but that doesn’t mean anything if there are people that read about the improved economy but feel that for them, that will never be their reality.”
Hajdu said the funding is a way for government to make sure young people from all walks of life move forward and succeed, no matter their circumstances.
“We want to make sure as a government that no matter what your circumstances are, what your birth circumstances are or how difficult things were for you in your early years that you still have a chance,” said Hajdu.
“You can still succeed with the right supports in place, which is why we are making this change today.”
Information on the HYPE project can be found at ncns.ca.